Friday, August 14, 2020

The Friday Flash

Cast your votes NOW for up to 20 of your All-Time Summer Favorites!

Simply email your list to ...

We'll start counting down the results on Monday, August 17th right here:

Then, as a special added bonus, be listening to Scott Shannon on The True Oldies Channel: all Labor Day Weekend, when he'll be playing all of your summer favorites along with the greatest rock and roll music of all-time, 24/7.

You'll catch selections from our Top 200 Summer Favorites list (based on your votes) a TON of extras ...during The True Oldies Channel's LAST BLAST OF SUMMER WEEKEND!

The True Oldies Channel plays the Greatest Hits of All Time, featuring music from the '50's, the '60's, the '70's and the '80's (along with the occasional Forgotten Hit thrown in along the way as well!)  This is OUR kind of station!


That's right ...
A brand new website has been set up to count down Your Top 200 All-Time Summer Favorites ...
And we'll kick it all off on Monday (August 17th)
Please click the link above and then bookmark this site so you don't miss any of the brand new SUMMER FAVORITES Countdown. 

Thursday, August 13, 2020


Early ‘60’s pop/folk star Trini Lopez has died at the age of 83 after contracting the CornaVirus.
Lopez became a pop sensation after knocking ‘em dead at PJ’s nightclub in Los Angeles for years.  (The response to Trini’s act caught the attention of Frank Sinatra, who signed him to his Reprise record label.)  Trini’s version of “If I Had A Hammer” went all the way to #3 in 1963.  He kicked off 1965 with the Top 20 Hit “Lemon Tree.”  Along the way, he also hit the National Top 40 with records like “Kansas City” (#23, 1963), “Michael” (#36, 1964) and “I’m Comin’ Home, Cindy” (#39, 1966).
Lopez’s live albums at PJ’s (he released two of them, similar to what Johnny Rivers was doing when launching his career), did the same to kickstart his own career.  His debut LP, “Trini Lopez At PJ’s,” sold a million copies and went to #3 on Billboard’s Top 200 Pop Albums Chart, where it stayed for 102 weeks.  The follow up, “More Trini Lopez At PJ’s,” went to #11 later that same year.  In all, Lopez would place 14 albums on Billboard’s chart, with nine of them making The Top 50.
Trini was a very charismatic performer … in addition to numerous television appearances over the years, he also landed a key role in the ‘60’s film classic “The Dirty Dozen” … and I remember “test-driving” his own personal brand of guitar as part of the Gibson line when I first started playing music.  (I hear they’re now quite collectible!  Take a look at what they’re going for on eBay!)  A documentary of Trini’s life was already in the works at the time of his death.

I am sending a bit with Trini Lopez from my show back in 2014. He talks about getting his start in music.
He is one of the few that could talk first-hand about knowing Buddy Holly, Elvis, and Frank Sinatra.
Phil Nee
It’s true … and The Beatles, too, if I’m not mistaken.
His biography is going to be quite enlightening … hopefully they can get it out sooner rather than later in light of the circumstances.  (What a shame … another Covid19  victim.)
And he kept pretty current, too … he was still singing, playing and recording … and even doing his versions of several contemporary rock songs that we all know and love … but I have to believe that these only appealed to his limited fan base at this point.
Truth be told, I was never much of a fan … but my Dad sure was.  He’s the one who took me to see “The Dirty Dozen” (which I loved by the way … it’s still one of my favorite movies from that era.)
When I first started playing guitar I had my eye set on a Gibson ES335 … cherry red … and the small guitar shop that we would go to (the owner’s son gave guitar lessons in a small room in the back … I quit after three … I didn’t want to play “Rockin’ Down The Rye” … I wanted to play rock and roll!) … had a Trini Lopez model hanging on the wall.  (Honestly, at the time it was very similar in body style … and my Dad was really pushing for me to get THAT one instead ... "C'mon ... it has Trini's signature on it!" ...but that was reason enough right there to sway me the other way ... all I could think about was how I wouldn’t be caught DEAD playing that thing … I’d lose any shred of credibility I might have had as a wannabe rock and roller!)
So I learned to play on my own (by ear … still can’t read music … but can usually sound out any song I hear after just a couple of run-throughs … and held out for my ES335, which I was able to save up and buy eventually.  (I had a 1968 model … which is probably ALSO quite “priceless” these days.)
I never really got into the whole folk music … for the folk/rock music scene either for that matter … my first radio discovery was The British Invasion and it swept me up like a tornado … it’s all I wanted to hear.  Besides, I never really understood why Trini kept squawking in the background, making all those ridiculous sounds (eek! eek! etc.)  I spun around a couple of times during one of his songs to see if perhaps I was left at The Children’s Zoo!  (kk)

I just found out that singer/actor Trini Lopez has passed away. Don't know the reason but back in the day, as you know, he had quite a few records on Reprise. I always did like his 1964 song WHAT HAVE I GOT OF MY OWN. Trini Lopez is one of those singers that today, probably a lot of people forgot ever recorded.
Larry Neal
Despite having two Top 20 Hits, you rarely heard his music on the radio.  (I know that Me-TV-FM plays both “If I Had A Hammer” and “Lemon Tree” … but odds are if you’re going to hear “If I Had A Hammer” at all, you’re PROBABLY going to hear the Peter, Paul and Mary version.  Surprisingly, though, Trini’s version was actually the bigger hit on the charts!  #3 vs #10.  His version of “Lemon Tree” also outperformed theirs … #20 vs #35.)  kk 

Several years ago, Forgotten Hits became the first place on the planet to “Sneak Peek” a brand new track recorded by Trini Lopez and produced by Ron Dante.  (Trini continued to record and perform throughout the years, often coming up with new arrangements of current pop hits along the way … check out his YouTube clip for Steve Miller’s “Fly Like An Eagle.”)   

I asked Ron to say a few words about his friend …

Hi Kent -
I was sad to hear that Trini Lopez passed away a few days ago. He will live on through his many, many recordings. He was a good friend and fine artist.
I met Trini Lopez through a mutual friend years ago.
I was thrilled to meet him since I always thought he was a super talent who had made it in records, live shows and even films.  He wanted to do a new CD with some very cool songs and he asked me to produce it.
Making the album with him was a pure joy. He worked hard on the songs we chose and was always in great spirits when we were in the studio together. I am very proud to have produced his album "Ramblin' Man."
I see lots of people are looking him up and streaming his hits and other songs. He would be so happy to know that. He just wanted to perform and make people happy.
God bless his soul,
Ron Dante 

Trini’s winning personality made him a showstopper on the nightclub circuit … he was regularly playing Las Vegas before most pop stars had even considered this an option.  While his voice may have been silent for the last several years in terms of radio airplay, people will again begin to discover his music due to news of his sad death earlier this week.  Unfortunately, this always seems to be the way … but at least his music will enjoy one more round of appreciation now.  (kk)


Here’s a very well done piece on Wayne Fontana, who we lost last week … 

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

This Week In 1970

August 12th – Janis Joplin performs her final concert at Harvard Stadium to a full house of 10,000 fans.  She would die of a drug overdose less than two months later.

August 14th – Stephen Stills is arrested for cocaine possession at a motel in La Jolla, California.  (He was found crawling along a corridor in an incoherent state)  He will later be released on  $2500 bail.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Tuesday This And That

>>>Scott Shannon will be playing back The Top 200 Favorites in OUR poll throughout the Labor Day Weekend on The True Oldies Channel (beginning at Noon on Friday, September 4th, and running straight thru till Midnight on Labor Day Monday, September 7th.)  kk

Thank you, Scott. I will be there for as much as possible. (This thing called “school” is much undecided)

Shelley J Sweet-Tufano

Thousands more votes have come in since we reopened the polls for a couple of weeks, causing several tracks to shift positions significantly ... this is going to be a VERY interesting list this time around, with over 70 years of music represented.  

You've got till Friday (the 14th) to get your votes in.

We will most likely dedicate a special website to the Top 200 Countdown so as not to interrupt our on-going Forgotten Hits postings ... so stay tuned for more information on that.  (kk) 

As I was reading today's FH, I realized that today (8-9) is Bob Sirott's birthday.  Happy b-day to my classmate Bob!
Mike Wolstein

Double-checked your date (you understand!) and it was, in fact, Bob Sirott’s birthday on August 9th … Happy 71st, Bob!  (How is that even REMOTELY possible?!?!?  The guy still looks 40!!!)  kk

Hi Kent:  

I may be a little younger than the rest of you survey geeks, but I got my first taste of WLS surveys in August of 1963. I was 7. I remember tuning the dial to 89 and hearing tunes like “Bust Out” & “Rev Up”! I became a fan for many moons!


WLS in the early days was known as a station that could break hits … it was not at all uncommon to find some tracks (usually in the bottom half of their Top 40 countdowns) that were hits unique to the Chicagoland area only. 
I’ve been told several times over the years that The Top 20 pretty much accurately displayed the actual sales and airplay requests for any given week … the bottom 20 were new releases or songs working their way down the countdown.  As such, many tunes were given a chart position for a week or two to see if they caught on or not.  This gave many of our local acts a shot at some airplay and more gigs in the area.

A tune like “Rev-Up” by Manuel and the Renegades never made ANY of the national Top 100 lists.  (It did “bubble under in Cash Box for four weeks in 1963, peaking at #108, largely because of the airplay and exposure it received on WLS.)  “Bust Out” by The Busters fared a little better, peaking at #25 in Billboard in 1963 … but there were probably a couple hundred songs played during those early years (1960 – 1967) that were unique to the WLS chart.

By the early-to-mid ‘70’s, the exact opposite was true.  By 1974-1975, a song often didn’t show up on the WLS Chart (now GREATLY scaled back to about 15-20 positions) until it had already gone Top Ten nationally.  Instead of an industry leader, we were often a late-to-the-game trend FOLLOWER … which ultimately led to the downfall of the station.  (kk)

By the way, “Rev-Up” peaked at #5 and “Bust Out” at #12 on our local charts.

The Elliot Lurie “Brandy” video was out of this world.  I shared it on the MeTVFM Facebook page, and the reaction we got was so gratifying.  The video made people’s day.  And has there ever been a song so universally embraced as “Brandy?”  We never get tired of hearing it.  And it’s as fresh today as it was when it came out nearly five decades ago.  I would never have known about the video without your post.

Have a great week.

Rick O’Dell

That updated version of Elliot Lurie singing Brandy was top notch.  Boy, that voice!

But my favorite was the sign from Chuck Buell about your vinyl resting place!


LOTS of feedback on Elliot's new a capella version, which has been popping up all over the place ... something like 80,000 new views since we (and several others) posted it on Sunday.

And, speaking of Chuck Buell ...


>>>We were TOTALLY state of the art in the ‘60’s … we had one of those 3/color clear plastic screens that went over the tv to show blue skies, pink faces and green grass – which worked perfectly for about ten minutes a week of Bonanza!  (kk)


A Follow-up from Chuck Buell about Old TVs …

Hey, Kent!

Inspired by your comments in FHs about your old Black and White TV and how you used to try and "adjust" your picture ~~~

I had to manipulate this for you as I imagine you today!


CB ( which stands for “Contrast Boy!” )



How About Answer To Flying Saucer ?


Clip of the Week?

An INCREDIBLY hot Ronnie Spector performing with the Ronettes on the old Sha Na Na TV show.  (Unfortunately you have to sit thru 2 ½ minutes of some GOD AWFUL schtick by Sha Na Na to see it … but SO worth the wait once Ronnie takes center stage!)  kk